By Ida Mojadad : sfexaminer – excerpt
Supervisor Dean Preston on Tuesday called for a hearing on the planned University of San Francisco expansion in the Inner Sunset.
UCSF has plans to add another 1.5 million square feet to its Parnassus Heights campus, reaching more than 5 million square feet total. The expansion will bring nearly 1,000 units of housing, offices, and research facilities, and a new hospital expected to open in 2030 to increase patient capacity at the foot of Mount Sutro south of Golden Gate Park.
The plan may be approved as soon as Jan. 20 by the University of California Board of Regents, which has the final say…
“In 29 days, the California Regents will be asked to approve one of the most significant real estate deals my district has seen in years, and yet the board has not and will not have the opportunity to weigh in,” Preston said. “More to the point, the city has negotiated an agreement, purportedly to secure benefits for the community, the terms of which the community has yet to see.”…(more)
Interesting that UCSF is building a second Research faculty in San Francisco, when they already have a nine-story project underway at General Hospital.
By Wendell Cox : newgeography – excerpt
The Census Bureau has just published its 2020 state population estimates, which indicate that the state that has led growth in the United States for the last 170 years lost 70,000 residents last year. For the first five years of the decade, California had gained 300,000 residents, with a total gain over the period of 1.6 million. Since 2015, California’s population gain plummeted, reaching virtually zero in 2019 and the loss in 2020 (Figure 1). At the same time, the Census Bureau restated California’s 2018 to 2019 population change, which had been shown as a gain of 51,000 last year to a gain of only 147…(more)
Bills like AB 2088 may make California less likely to grow for some time, as large entrepreneurs seek more friendly situations in which to grow.
socketsite – excerpt
With new permitting and entitlement activity having effectively ground to a halt in the third quarter of this year while construction crews continued to work and deliver new units, the net pipeline of new apartments and condos under development in San Francisco inched down half a percent to just over 70,000 units of housing which is within a half percent of the overall pipeline at the same time last year.
Roughly 13 percent (9,250) of those 70,000 units are already under construction and should be ready for occupancy within the next year or two, which is 1.9 percent fewer units under construction than at the same time last year but roughly 50 percent more than the average number of units which have been under construction across the city over the past decade…(more)
By Liam Dillon : latimes – excerpt
During his 2018 campaign for governor, Gavin Newsom unveiled a bold agenda to tackle the state’s housing affordability crisis, pledging to support the building of 3.5 million new homes by 2025. And this February, Newsom dedicated the entirety of his annual State of the State speech to California’s homelessness problems.
Have Newsom’s pledges made a difference? On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we speak with Jason Elliott, the governor’s top advisor on housing about Newsom’s mixed record so far and what’s coming next. Newsom had not made much progress on his housing promises even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elliott also discusses how the governor is closing in on likely the biggest housing achievement of his tenure: the quick conversion of more than 6,000 hotel and motel rooms across the state into permanent housing for homeless residents.
“Gimme Shelter,”a biweekly podcast that looks at why it’s so expensive to live in California and what the state can do about it, features Liam Dillon, who covers housing affordability issues for the Los Angeles Times, and Matt Levin, data and housing reporter for CalMatters…(more)
By Bob Egelko : sfchronicle – excerpt
San Francisco crab fishers whose equipment was destroyed by a fire that swept through a Fisherman’s Wharf warehouse in May sued the city’s port for millions of dollars in damages Wednesday and said port officials had failed to take numerous safety measures or prevent homeless people from lighting fires in the building.
The early-morning four-alarm blaze on May 23 at Pier 45 sent flames 100 feet high and wiped out Shed C, a 1928 storage warehouse for commercial fishers, causing more than $12 million in property losses. The San Francisco Fire Department found that the fire had been accidental but did not determine a cause, although it said it may have been started by electrical equipment or by a spark from the warehouse floor…
“If the port had properly maintained and managed Shed C … the fire would not have occurred in the first place, or would not have spread as intensely and rapidly as it did,” the suit said. It seeks unspecified damages for the fishers’ losses and punitive damages…(more)
By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt
Professors who argue that local regulations drive up housing prices appear to admit they have no credible data to back up that argument.
On December 1, 48hills ran my story about the California State Auditor’s dubious sortie against local land use authority, an incursion purportedly undertaken in behalf of greater housing affordability. While I’m waiting for the Auditor to respond to my Public Records Act request for documentation of her numerous claims, I want to call out the hypocrisy of three of the scholars cited in my story.
To illustrate the tenuousness of the Auditor’s attack, I observed that a growing number of academics are questioning the argument that “local constraints significantly hamper the provision of affordable housing.” I illustrated that interrogation with a few examples:…
Now that belief faces a growing challenge in academia, where even some of its most vociferous proponents are admitting that they lack conclusive evidence in its support. What’s needed at this moment, then, is not more anti-democratic legislation and duplicitous pleading, but a vigorous public debate over the real sources of California’s housing affordability crisis…(more)
Government confusion, fraud and corruption are to blame for the high cost of building in San Francisco.
If we look at San Francisco’s building triumvirate, Planning, DBI and Permitting departments, that the public and small contractors must wade through we can see that the primary costs for building and remodeling in the city is not in government regulations. It is in government confusion, fraud and corruption. The sad thing is that is took the FBI t expose what many knew was going on for decades. This system is rigged. You must pay to play or get out of the game.
By David R Baker : bloomberg – excerpt
The region’s Salton Sea contains a massive trove of the metal needed for electric-car batteries.
Dust storms laced with toxins sweep across California’s Imperial County, where mud volcanoes spit and hiss near the shores of the slowly shrinking lake known as the Salton Sea. The county is one of California’s poorest, most of its jobs tied to a thin strip of irrigated land surrounded by desert. San Diego and the Golden State’s prosperous coast lie only 100 miles away across a jumble of mountains, but it might as well be another world.
Yet this overlooked moonscape may hold the key to America’s clean-car future. Hot brine trapped beneath the desert floor contains potentially one of the world’s biggest deposits of lithium. Demand for the metal is soaring as automakers worldwide shift to electric cars powered by lithium-ion batteries. Most of that lithium now comes from Australia, China, and South America. The U.S. badly wants its own supply… (more)
Retired planner opposes high density development in single-family neighborhoods
T. Keith Gurnee was an urban planner for four decades, working in California communities up and down the coast.
Gurnee, originally from Atherton, wanted to be an architect when he started college at Cal Poly in the 1960s. He quickly felt he could have a greater impact on a community by becoming an urban planner. His projects helped re-design the waterfronts of Pismo Beach, Morro Bay and Avila Beach.
Now, in a busy retirement, he’s become a board member of Livable California, a statewide grassroots, slow-growth movement fighting for local control over development decisions. Gurnee writes position papers and lobbies lawmakers to protect the rights of cities in the midst of the housing crisis.
To pro-growth and housing advocacy groups, Livable California is the embodiment of statewide NIMBY-ism. For Gurnee, the fight is over the self-determination of cities…(more)
By Julie Jones, Perkins Coie :jdsupra – excerpt
On remand from the California Supreme Court’s decision in Sierra Club v. County of Fresno, 6 Cal.5th 502 (2018) (“Friant Ranch I”), a court of appeal has held that CEQA requires full decertification – not partial decertification – of an EIR that has been adjudged inadequate in any respect. In addition, the court concluded that even if partial decertification were ever allowed, here the EIR’s defects could not be severed from the County’s project approvals, so decertification of the entire EIR was required. Sierra Club v. County of Fresno, No. F079904 (5th Dist., Nov. 24, 2020) (“Friant Ranch II”).
In Friant Ranch I, the California Supreme Court ruled that an EIR’s analysis of air quality impacts and its characterization of the effectiveness of mitigation for those impacts were defective. When the case was remanded to the lower courts, the project proponent argued that the EIR should be decertified only as to the defects the Supreme Court identified and should otherwise remain certified…(more)